Land Reforms and Natural Resource Conflicts in Africa: New Development Paradigms in the Era of Global Liberalization

Routledge
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This book is a critical examination of the place and role of land in Africa, the role of land in political formation and national identification, and the land as an economic resource within both national economic development and liberal globalization. Colonial and post-colonial conflicts have been rooted in four related claims: the struggle over scarce resources, especially access to land resources; abundance of natural resources mismanaged or appropriated by both the states, local power systems and multinationals; weak or absent articulated land tenure policies, leading to speculation or hybrid policy framework; and the imperatives of the global liberalization based on the free market principles to regulate the land question and mineral appropriation issue. The actualization of these combined claims have led to conflicts among ethnic groups or between them and governments. This book is not only about conflicts, but also about local policy achievements that have been produced on the land question. It provides a critical understanding of the forces and claims related to land tenure systems, as part of the state policy and its system of governance.
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About the author

Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo is Professor of Political Science at Wells College, a Visiting Scholar in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, and an External Examiner at the University of Ghana.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Oct 16, 2015
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9781317497110
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Developing & Emerging Countries
Social Science / Sociology / Rural
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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At least fifty years of projects aimed at the rural poor in Africa have had very little impact. Up to half of the children of these countries are still suffering from stunting and malnutrition. Soil degradation and poor crop yields are ubiquitous. Projects are almost always aimed at helping local people to solve their problems by growing for the market. In some countries, projects link poor villagers into cooperatives to produce a commercial output. In other countries, projects target more competent entrepreneurial villagers. Almost all these projects fail after several years. Even those that are successful make few inroads into the problems.

While the slogan 'feeding the farmers first' comes from the Philippines, it is particularly applicable to much of Africa, where household food security can come from household production. This book explains how projects can be designed that increase food security through subsistence production. Focusing on particular people and projects, it gives a sociological analysis of why this is so difficult to manage. This book challenges the models promoted by academics in the field of development studies and argues against the strategies adopted by most donor organizations and government bodies.It explains why commercial projects have been so ubiquitous even though they rarely work. It gives practical tips on how to set up villages and farms to achieve sustainable solutions that also provide plenty of nutritious food. The book is written to be accessible and engaging. For anyone planning to work in the rural areas of Africa, this book is required reading.

Rural movements have recently emerged to become some of the most important social forces in opposition to neoliberalism. From Brazil and Mexico to Zimbabwe and the Philippines, rural movements of diverse political character, but all sharing the same social basis of dispossessed peasants and unemployed workers, have used land occupations and other tactics to confront the neoliberal state. This volume brings together for the first time across three continents - Africa, Latin America and Asia - an intellectually consistent set of original investigations into this new generation of rural social movements. These country studies seek to identify their social composition, strategies, tactics, and ideologies; to assess their relations with other social actors, including political parties, urban social movements, and international aid agencies and other institutions; and to examine their most common tactic, the land occupation, its origins, pace and patterns, as well as the responses of governments and landowners. At a more fundamental level, this volume explores the ways in which two decades of neoliberal policy - including new land tenure arrangements intended to hasten the commodification of land, and new land uses linked to global markets -- have undermined the social reproduction of the rural labour force and created the conditions for popular resistance. The volume demonstrates the longer-term potential impact of these movements. In economic terms, they raise the possibility of tackling immiseration by means of the redistribution of land and the reorganisation of production on a more efficient and socially responsible basis. And in political terms, breaking the power of landowners and transnational capital with interests in land could ultimately open the way to an alternative pattern of capital accumulation and development.
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